Conjuring Radical Openness

Conjuring Radical Openness is an exhibition of new textile work and bronze sculpture that propagates the act of masking by protestors and rebels in recent years of fevered uprising around the globe into the fold. Drawing on a vast, personal image archive of demonstrators, Wyman continues her investigation of visual resistance tactics employed in zones of conflict. The new floor-to-ceiling textile work, created using online DIY fabric-printing technology, is influenced by the motifs used in fabric designs of 20s and 30s Soviet propaganda. These bolts of fabric adopt tactics of subterfuge—kaleidoscopic and hypnotic pattern generation through repetition—to rally the people. Wyman’s contemporary icons of subversive signification represent masking as an invitation by the collective body for ‘radical openness.’ The mask, as a sign of anonymous solidarity, provides its wearer practical and psychological powers to participate in collective dissent to be open and fearless in one’s actions. The bronze sculpture of a bust cast from a mold of draped t-shirts embody an invisible presence, conjuring the magic of past theatrical tricksters in all of their humorous deviance all the while armoring the activist with camouflage and power. This is a monument to anonymous protesters, the shared collective face and the potential of the social imagination.

 

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